Feedback Sought on EG Parks Proposals

by | Nov 1, 2022

Above: Discussion during the Community Master Plan workshop at Swift Community Center Oct. 27.

Dog Park off Frenchtown, more EGHS courts, fields & parking, are just 2 of the proposals

Consultants working on the Community Services Master Plan unveiled ideas for a number of town parks at a public session Thursday, Oct. 27, looking to those in attendance – and all residents – to kick the tires, so to speak, and offer feedback. Public comment is open through Nov. 17.

These plans are not set in stone, said the consultants. Rather, they are a continuation of a process that began in January, when residents and other users of town recreation spaces were invited to fill out a survey that included questions on everything from how often you used town parks and recreation facilities to what you would like to see added. Needless to say, people had a lot of ideas for what to add. A dog park was high on the “wants” list and so, in the plans unveiled last week, there is a dog park located behind the Parks & Rec building on Frenchtown Road. Another want was a pool – there is no pool in the plans.

There are several pickleball courts in the proposals, beyond the two already in the works for Academy. The plans call for pickleball courts next to the tennis courts on Frenchtown Road, and pickleball courts near to the tennis courts at the high school.

The plans also call for an additional artificial turf field at the high school, on the land beside Route 4, across from Carcieri Field and the baseball diamonds. There’s additional parking in that area too, to relieve the bottleneck that happens on the drive there.

Again, to be clear, none of the plans outlined in the photos below are slated to happen. Rather, according to Community Services Director Andy Wade, these are “initial park concepts.” The idea now is to collect feedback – positive and negative – and use that to craft a final report, a roadmap for changes to town parks over the next 10 years, to be released probably in January 2023.

One item not quite on the table at present is Swift Community Center. There is a proposal afoot to expand the center (as can be seen on the diagram below) but consultants said Thursday it will be separate from this project.

Below are photos of the proposals presented Oct. 27. Find a report and survey results HERE and a link to the page about this project on the town’s website HERE.

***Find better images then our photographs below of the different plans here:

Frenchtown Parks & Rec property and Eldredge
River Farm/Franklin Road, Shovlin Park and Academy Field
Frenchtown Elementary Fields, Frenchtown Rec Facility, Cragan Field and EGHS 

Finally, here are contacts if you’d like to share your thoughts: 

Andy Wade, EG Community Services Director                       [email protected]

Dominick Celtruda, BL Companies, Project Manager                         [email protected]

Suzy Fisher, The Sports Facilities Company                           [email protected]                                

Craig Pereira, Horsely Witten Group, Inc.                                    [email protected]

A dog park behind the EG Parks & Rec building on Frenchtown Road.

Proposed changes at the high school.

The River Farm fitness area could be home to pickleball courts in this scenario.

Improvements to the fields at Frenchtown Elementary – this would change depending on school construction plans.

Possible changes to Academy Field and Swift Community Center.

Eldredge Elementary field and basketball courts on Cliff Street.

Under this plan, pickleball courts would be added near the tennis courts on Frenchtown Road.

Improvements suggested for Shovlin Park.

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Chris R.
Chris R.
November 2, 2022 7:54 am

Let’s rename the town to East Pickleball.

November 2, 2022 8:01 pm
Reply to  Chris R.


November 2, 2022 8:30 am

Is there a way to get these images so that we can look at the details and writing on the images? I downloaded the image from here but the quality doesn’t let you blow it up anymore.

Mostly concerned about the swift center and the playground being take out for a memorial & pavilion? If I’m reading that correctly?

Would much rather leave the existing playground with the gorgeous tree that provides parents and kids with shade that we all love & need. The fairfield playground is already the place to go to get baked by the sun if you need it.

November 3, 2022 3:11 pm

Thank you!

November 2, 2022 9:50 am

This was a great community workshop! Glad I could attend. Lots of great ideas to be shared but the proposed expansion of the Swift Center at Academy Field is way too big. We would lose so much of the greens pace in the park and the playground would be moved to the west side of the building where it will be scorched by the sun. So many people love the current location with the beautiful shade tree. The field would just be so crowded with the building becoming so big.

Pat M
Pat M
November 2, 2022 10:41 pm

How about we fix the outdoor track and the throwing cage at the high school so they can host outdoor track events? In the 6 years my kids have been at the high school they have never been able to host an outdoor track event. It’s sad for our town. Do we need that many more pickle ball courts right now?

Ray Giornelli
Ray Giornelli
November 4, 2022 9:51 am

What has happened to including Boccia ball courts? Are the last courts in EG the courts that many old residents grew up with are the courts at the old Italo/American Club on Duke Street. The newer generations should be following the example of Boston and NYC.

November 5, 2022 11:35 pm

How are we allowing this to continually be called a “Comprehensive Master Plan”???? The waterfront, the aquatics, the proposed changes to Eldridge and Frenchtown schools are completely ignored.

Academy Field is the most used facility (their data) but they want to SHRINK the amount of green space, SHRINK the size of the playground, REMOVE an entire basketball court, and TAKE AWAY the ONLY somewhat large, flat, paved, CAR FREE area on the hill and replace it with pickle ball courts …. While leaving unused the grassy area along Spring street that could be used to add value instead of slashing a well used public facility to bits. Oh, they want to add 9 other pickelball courts around town too.

This, because 50% said they wanted an aquatics facility,, but this was totally ignored by those presenters at the 2nd public workshop).

This should be called what it is: an extremely limited special interest plan to saturate our town with pickleball courts …. It certainly is not Comprehensive.

November 26, 2022 10:37 am

Clearly the identification of this as a “Comprehensive Master Plan “ plan is wrong and misleading. This is a very limited view of many very important issues. If there are multiple committees all working in silos, and no overarching supervision, tax payer $$$ and voices will go unheard.

November 7, 2022 7:53 am

I would be thrilled if these plans ever came to bear! Our town facilities are definitely not up to par, and I am rather embarrassed by most of them.

Are those usage numbers simply based off of survey? I ask because I don’t believe there is any way Academy/Eldridge fields are used nearly as much as the high school (perhaps I read that wrong).

The conditions at the high school are a bit ridiculous…In the fall there are 7 teams (plus Cole at times!) all battling over the use of one field during the week. The grass fields surrounding the turf are adequate to practice on…but the instant the fields get wet poor drainage turns them into muddy swamps….and using them wet just makes those fields worse.

I realize this is more than just HS teams. I also witness countless youth soccer, softball, lacrosse, and field hockey programs trying to squeeze into any area of usable grass. These fields aren’t a luxury, they are needed.

Also- isn’t Cragan privately owned? How would the town support the fixing up of Cragan for “private” little league while the schools charge EG rec basketball upwards of $40,000 a year just for EG children to practice and play at their own schools?

Just curious…relatively new to RI and still trying to figure this all out!

November 7, 2022 12:44 pm

I am curious if there was any data taken on who filled out these surveys and attended these meetings and whether they were actually representative of the whole town, or just a subgroup of people who actually have time to fill out surveys and attend these meetings. None of these suggestions sound like they appeal to our younger generation, and if anything it is taking away from what our children of this town already have (like removing the only shaded playground in the town to Heathers point). I want my taxes to go down, not up. We are always struggling to maintain what we already have. Why not just focus on that? And I agree with previous commenters how it’s important we maintain green space, especially given how much construction is being done in this town already.

Additionally, I would like to point out that adding pickle ball courts next to the Frenchtown courts will add to the problem of limited parking that already exists in that area.

I would much rather see the money being allocated here to be redirected into developing more neighborhood schools or resources for our children. We talk about the mental health crisis in our growing children, but when is it actually going to be addressed versus just talked about? Based on these plans, it doesn’t seem to be much of a priority.

November 8, 2022 6:26 am
Reply to  Reader

Amen to working on neighborhood schools. Driving across town everyday for k-2 is insanity when their is Eldredge, that our school committee suggested to the town to decomission and build a mega Frenchtown, right down the street from me. What is this town thinking? Put the money into making schools that we have already better. And start doing grade realignments!

November 9, 2022 7:46 pm
Reply to  Heather

NK have two middle schools, one that was at least built in the 1930’s and the other the 1960’s. Those schools are fine for a school building and so isn’t Eldridge. The physical school doesn’t make a blue ribbon school, the teachers and parents do. ( sorry not the administration, superintendent or school committee) . The new legislature in RI must remove the funding strings attached to building of school facilities. Don’t we have the independent man on top of our state house? Where did he go? Cant find him/her in our state or town.


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